'Sing Street' Musical Headed for Broadway This Season

Sing Street - Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy of Sing Street

Produced by Barbara Broccoli, the show is the second film by Irish writer-director John Carney to be adapted for the stage, following 'Once,' which won eight Tony Awards in 2012, including best musical.

Eight years after the musical based on John Carney's Once swept the Tony Awards, the stage version of another film by the Irish writer-director is following a similar path to Broadway. 

Sing Street, adapted from Carney's semi-autobiographical 2016 screen comedy, which drew on his experiences as a youth in economically depressed Dublin in the 1980s, will transfer to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre in the spring.

The move follows the show's world-premiere engagement, which opened Dec. 16 at New York Theatre Workshop and concludes its sold-out extended run Jan. 26. That same downtown venue gave Once its pre-Broadway start, as well as providing the off-Broadway launchpad for a number of more recent transfers, including Hadestown, Slave Play and What the Constitution Means to Me.

Barbara Broccoli, who controls the James Bond screen franchise, leads the producing team on the uptown transfer of Sing Street, which begins previews March 26 ahead of an April 19 official opening. The show reportedly is being capitalized at $11 million, a relatively modest sum for a Broadway musical.

Other lead producers are Brian Carmody, Patrick Milling Smith, Michael Wilson, Orin Wolf and Frederick Zollo, all of whom also worked with Broccoli on Once. Patrick Daly and Alecia Parker serve as executive producers. 

Sing Street centers on 16-year-old Conor, whose Dublin family has fallen on hard times during a period when many in Ireland are heading to England in search of work. Their economic situation forces them to move Conor from private school to a free public school run by the Christian Brothers, where he clashes with the strict headmaster but finds escape by starting a band, primarily to impress an aspiring model with a troubled home life.

The musical is steeped in nostalgic affection for the New Wave Brit sounds of the era that spawned groups like Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Haircut 100 and Spandau Ballet. Some of those bands' hits are folded into the catchy original score by Carney and Gary Clark, the former frontman of late-'80s Scottish band Danny Wilson, which had a breakout international hit with the 1987 song "Mary's Prayer."

The book is by Irish playwright Enda Walsh, who also adapted Once for the stage. Direction is by Rebecca Taichman, who won a 2018 Tony for her Broadway debut with Indecent, with choreography by Sonya Tayeh, currently represented on Broadway by her work on Moulin Rouge! Set and costume design is by seven-time Tony winner Bob Crowley, while music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements are by Martin Lowe.

The majority of the NYTW cast of Sing Street, many of whom play their own instruments, will reprise their roles on Broadway. While reviews for the show off-Broadway were mixed, many critics pointed up the promise of the material's crowd-pleasing elements; presumably the creative team will work at fine-tuning the production in the run-up to its Broadway bow and during previews.

Once ran for a little under three years on Broadway, winning eight Tonys, including best musical, and recouping its modest $5.5 million investment in an unusually swift 21 weeks thanks to strong box office momentum fueled by rave reviews and awards attention. It went on to gross $110.3 million, not including national tour revenues.